Happy 20th Birthday Microwave Office Software!

May 11, 2018 | Posted by: Sherry Hess

 

While preparing for IMS018 and our pending V14 release of NI AWR Design Environment software, I was reminded that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Microwave Office circuit design software hitting the show floor at what was then more commonly referred to as MTT. (Photo coverage from MTT1998 (image courtesy of Microwave Journal Magazine))

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the Microwave Office software milestones that have been introduced at this most prestigious of RF/microwave conferences over the years and give them some much overdue praise. This blog is the first in a series we plan to roll out this year to commemorate our history and innovation success.

One of the first innovations that we introduced back in 1998 was the tuning bar. While I was not an employee at that time, I still hear stories of design engineers queuing up in the aisles at IMS1998 in Baltimore to take in this new Windows-based software product for circuit design as it greatly simplified tasks they needed to accomplish when designing monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), for instance. (FYI: Microwave Office software was such a hit that it received its first accolades as Microwaves & RF magazine's Product of the Year.)

Met with "oohs and ahhhs," the tuning bar even had some designers asking, 'how did you do that?' as they thought it was not possible to tune on a design in real time given prior tool methodologies. This clever feature has saved untold mouse clicks, keyboard strokes, and design/simulation time by enabling designers to quickly zero in on optimum circuit performance. 

Fast forward 20 years later and the tuning bar is once again debuting at IMS but this time with a twist - or rather a flip. As this feature has been used and loved over the years, the number of tuning bars usable at any one time has grown by way of user demand and enthusiasm. To make more space for tuning sliders, the palette is flipping from a horizontal to vertical tableau in our V14 release. The graphic below shows the tuning bar as it was in V13 and now in its new and improved V14 version. (Horizontally-oriented (left) and vertically-oriented (right) tuning bar that more readily supports large-scale tuning of complex structures)

Come by the NI booth #1825 at IMS 2018 in Philadelphia to get a first-hand look at our updated tuning bar feature that we hope will flip you out.